Portrait photo Michael Tierney

Joe Sacco

USA Hoi Fellow

  • Literature
  • 2006

    Portland, OR


    Joe Sacco is a graphic novelist who was trained as a journalist and earned his degree from the University of Oregon in 1981. He travels to conflict zones and then produces books based upon his experiences, his chief topic being the civilian in civil war. He has said that he favors the graphic novel as an expressive medium because of its immediacy and ability to instantly transport readers into a situation. His works combine eyewitness reportage with the particular perspectives of those he encounters on his travels, offering alternative accounts to the stories in mainstream media outlets. In 1991 Sacco traveled to the West Bank, and in 1995 he published Palestine, an account of daily life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. That year he traveled to Bosnia and produced Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-95, a study of a Muslim enclave, which won the Eisner Award for best original graphic novel in 2001. In other books, he has reported on the situations of Chechen refugees and on Iraqis detained by U.S. forces in Iraq. Sacco was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001. 

    Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, (p. 47); photo courtesy the artist

    Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia, (p. 47); photo courtesy the artist